Ireland's economy boomed in the 1990s and early 2000s, leading to its "Celtic tiger" moniker, with rapid growth fuelled by foreign direct investment and an expansion in bank lending. However, the country was hit by the subsequent global financial downturn, leading to a collapse in its property market, a crisis in its banking sector and a bailout by the International Fund and European institutions.
Now, Ireland is viewed by some as a model for post-crisis economic recovery, returning to growth in 2010.
O'Leary attributed the recovery to the reforms passed between 2010 and 2013, which saw Ireland's banking sector restructured and its fiscal deficit reduced.
"Ireland's crash was largely a banking and property crash. The underlying fundamentals of the economy were strong even before the bailout and once we got the situation sorted, growth really stemmed from that point onwards," he told CNBC.
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